Betting the 2012 Belmont Stakes is all about taking stands. Taking a stand with or against I'll Have Another being the twelfth Triple Crown winner in U.S. racing history. Taking a stand on whether Union Rags can bounce back from his disappointing effort in the Kentucky Derby. Taking a stand about how much impact any of the new shooters will have on the final leg of the Triple Crown. All of these stands will be based on however the reader handicaps the race and the opinions formed about the horses. To aid you in this process, the chart below lists the top 3 finishers in the Belmont the last twelve years at selected points of call during the race, as well as the post time odds.
The charts show some interesting statistics. First, it shows that until the far turn, the winner and the 2nd-place finisher are likely to be within a length of each other for the first two-thirds of the race. This has been the case three of the last five years (2007, 2010, 2011). Also, only once in the last twelve years has the winner been further than six lengths back after a half-mile (Jazil, 2006). Both of these facts could be considered a negative for Dullahan's chances, but a positive for those who fancy any combination of I'll Have Another, Paynter and Union Rags.
The two most interesting points the chart points out is that the 3rd place finisher tends to lose ground to the leaders going down the backstretch. This makes sense as horses are faster on the straightaway than the turn, leading to more separation of the field. The other thing that catches the eye is that the average odds for the second place finisher is considerably lower than the winner or the 3rd place finisher. This could be a positive for those who will key any of the four lowest odds horses underneath in the place spot.
As with all data, this chart is up to interpretation, but hopefully it will help aid in the cashing of many, many tickets. Good luck this Saturday folks.